The open-door policy: Transparency minimizes conflicts between school principals and staff

Klein, J.

Purpose - Little has been written about the contribution of organizational transparency to reduction of conflict between principals and teachers, especially when clarification justifies seemingly unreasonable demands by the administration. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap.Design/methodology/approach - In total, 294 teachers from 59 elementary and high schools studied a decision by school administration that was given without explanation and caused conflict between the teachers' commitment to work and to their home life. The participants completed an attitude questionnaire about their emotional commitment and involvement in work. About a month later, the same decision was presented to them but this time with full clarification of its underlying factors. They were then asked to respond to the same questionnaires a second time. The transition from an unexplained to an explained caused a significant change in the attitude of participants toward administration, and improved the teachers' emotional commitment to their work, as well as their willingness to be intensively involved in it. Findings - A significant interaction was found between the academic background of teachers and their attitudes. Participants at Master's degree level or preparing for it were more positively influenced by transparency than were Bachelor's degree candidates and holders. Practical implications - The results indicate certain activities in which transparency contributed to mutual trust and cooperation within school staffs. The possibility of extending the effect to other fields of endeavor is discussed. Originality/value - The paper's findings contribute to a broader understanding of the ramifications of executive transparency and reveal its intra-organizational benefits and limitations.

Klein, J. (2012)

The open-door policy: Transparency minimizes conflicts between school principals and staff. The International Journal of Educational Management, 26 (6), 550-564.

Last Updated Date : 18/07/2018